What exactly Johnson meant by these comments isn’t completely clear. But what he appears to be indicating is that there were further story elements intended for the two characters which would have better set up the relationship between the two.
US Today bestselling author, Sariah Wilson, recently had the opportunity to sit down with The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson, in which he shared several details about his time with the Star Wars universe.
During this interview, the director shared some behind the scenes details regarding the plan for the lead characters of the trilogy, as he confirms Rey and Kylo Ren “were meant to be romantic.” This was at least the view of The Last Jedi director at the time of his involvement as he “absolutely saw them as a romance.”
I mean, there was more to their stories and growth and arcs, but he saw them as romantic and intimate.
— Sariah Wilson (@sariahwilson) February 16, 2021
It’s clear the sequel trilogy suffered a great deal from the constant director switch-ups throughout the trilogy leading to constant changes of vision and direction. For the final film in The Skywalker Saga, Rise of the Skywalker suffered from an incredibly lackluster run time which could easily have been expanded to allow more of these plot points to be better explored.